Intelligence: Can we accelerate it?

                   Re-thinking Intelligence in an Age of Networked Intelligence

I’m 35 years old and have 3 kids (Liam is 4, Lila is 2 and Lucas is 6 weeks old).  My wife (also 35) stays home with the kids and started a pretty awesome blog called RaisingNaturalKids.  Her Facebook page has over 33,000 fans.  I’m blown away by my ability and my wife’s ability to learn with people from all over the world.  Over the years, I’ve spent much time building networks for others, and building my own learning network.  As a connected educator, I’ve been fortunate to reap the benefits of learning with some of the smartest people in the world.  

Who cares, right?  Well, I remember (and I’m sure my wife can) going to school at a time when there was much talk about “intelligence.” In fact, I’m sure most of us felt, and even worse, may have believed as if we were either a high, medium or low IQ (My assumptions here are largely influenced by personal experience, as taking tests wasn’t quite my thing).

Fast-forward now to 2013 and what’s changed?  Well, we’ve since entered into a new age!  As we complete the transition from a Digital Age or Information Era, into an Age of Networked Intelligence, I’m inspired by a quote on intelligence from Stephen Hawkings.


Interestingly, while much has “changed” around us, our institutions of learning have hardly seen much change. We really (I mean REALLY) grapple with that crazy “c” word – CHANGE.  The truth is, I don’t believe that people in general fear change, as much as they fear being changed.

I’m working on my book now, which will illuminate findings from a National study of principals, virtual learning and leading organizational change.  I’ll also be talking about these findings in my keynote presentation at the Inaugural Global School Leadership Conference on March 28, 2013.  As such, one of my wonderings lately is  – Can individuals and organizations accelerate intelligence?

Although I know the answer to this question is YES, I’m looking for deeper meaning as I work on my first few chapters of my book.  To that end, I posed this question, and received a great response worth sharing, from Bryan Setser, now a colleague of mine on LinkedIn.

Of course they can – but they must amplify themselves and their org via an intentional talent/resources on demand strategy. If they set norms daily around social networks and how the organizations use them […] they’ll get there. If they continue to think their internal capacity has all the answers – they’ll continue to squeeze juice out of the lemon.

If you are an educator (teacher, principal, superintendent, parent, board member, other), have you thought about what it means to be living in an Age of Networked Intelligence?  Have you thought about the fact that our systems of accountability, are no different then what my wife and I went through two decades ago?

Using the tools available today, both students and educators have ability to learn from anyone, anywhere and at anytime.  I think we have to start to reflect a bit more about the notion of intelligence and what it means in the above context.  In light of Bryan’s feedback, the above quote, and my musings…

1. How might you define or conceptualize either personal or organizational intelligence?

2. Can you accelerate your intelligence?

3. Can you create learning environments for your students, to allow them the opportunity to see infinite possibilities for learning?

4. Superintendents and principals, what strategies are you using to accelerate organizational intelligence?

5- Students, what do you make of this?

NOTE: You won’t be graded and you are not penalized for collaborating with others in your PLN to answer the questions. In fact, extra credit would be awarded if this was to be graded 🙂


This entry was posted in Accelerate Intelligence, Capacity Building, Conferences, Fordham, innovation, Intelligence, knowledge management, Leadership, Organizational Capacity, Organizational Structures, research and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Intelligence: Can we accelerate it?

  1. Hi Bill, as for #2 Can you accelerate your intelligence? I’m not sure if ‘accelerate’ is the right word for me. I do know there are plenty of ways to frustrate intelligence. As a parent I’ve focused on not frustrating our son’s way of interacting with the world around him (much). Luckily our day care is pretty much in sync with our own opinions on the importance of new experiences, so he’s off to a good start. Once spring sets in I’m sure I will tag along while he discovers bits of our part of town – just like I did last year when he was 2.

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